Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blackboard Tip: Tree view vs. List view

In many ELI classes, you use the discussion forums in Blackboard a lot. Did you know that you have two different options for how you view the discussion forum?

When you are viewing a discussion forum, notice that at the top right, there are boxes that say "tree view" and "list view." The box that is darker (and that you cannot click on) is the view you are currently using. If you click on the other option, you'll see the view change. You never know--you might like the other view better!

Tree view organizes the discussion board by thread. It groups each reply to a post under that post, and shows a plus sign next to a post if there are replies to it. You can click on the plus signs (or click "expand all") to show all the posts. Your discussion board will then have main threads starting on the left side of the screen and replies indented underneath.

In contrast, in list view, you see only the main thread. On the right side, you can see whether there are any replies to that thread. To actually see the replies, you have to click on that thread. Then you'll need to go back to the main list to see other threads.

Some people like to see all posts at once; they usually prefer tree view. Others like a cleaner look to the screen, and they usually prefer list view. Try them both and see what you prefer!

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